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North Korea tries fax diplomacy with Seoul

SEOUL, May 24 (UPI) — South Korean authorities said they received a faxed statement from North Korea proposing joint activities to mark the anniversary of a cooperation agreement.

The Yonhap news agency reported Thursday an unnamed civic organization said a fax was sent from North Korea proposing a joint celebration to mark the anniversary of a June 2000 declaration for economic cooperation.

Former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in 2000 adopted a declaration that calls for the promotion of reunification and broad-based cooperation.

“The only way to recover North-South relations and open the gate for autonomous reunification lies in the (efforts) to implement the joint declaration,” the civic organization was quoted as saying.

Regular bilateral meetings marking the anniversary were suspended by former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in 2009.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pulled out of the armistice agreement that suspended the Korean War in the 1950s. Tensions on the Korean Peninsula escalated with he took power in 2011.

North Korea tested an underground nuclear device in February, fueling regional tensions.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye visited with U.S. President Barack Obama recently and addressed a joint session of Congress. Park told U.S. lawmakers she was addressing the regional situation calmly but with a sense of resolve.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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